first_imgJohannesburg: At least 51 people have been killed in flooding in South Africa, a local official said Wednesday, as President Cyril Ramaphosa flew into the deluged eastern region of the country. Heavy rains have lashed South Africa in recent days, with the southern and eastern parts of the country badly hit since last weekend. “Our hearts go out particularly to families and communities who have been directly affected by death, injury and the loss of property,” Ramaphosa said in a statement after returning from crisis talks in Egypt on the situations in Libya and Sudan. “This situation calls on all of us to pull together as a country to reach out to affected communities.” The death toll jumped from 33 on Tuesday, as rescuers continued to comb debris for those who might be trapped underneath landslides.last_img read more

first_imgJaipur: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Friday that the country saw an unprecedented development under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government and its respect has increased globally. Addressing a ‘Vijay Sankalp’ dialogue here, Swaraj referred to the ‘honour’ India received at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meet after Modi took charge. She said Pakistan’s chair was vacant as the country had boycotted the OIC meet, citing India’s presence at the convention. Swaraj said the demand for declaring Masood Azhar as a global terrorist was going on since 2009. But due to the diplomatic acumen of the prime minister, Azhar was declared a global terrorist on May 1. Referring to the plans and achievements of the central government, the minister said many remarkable works were done in the last five years.last_img read more

Casablanca – Mosques and Islamic Centers in the United Stated have reported receiving letters praising President-elect, Donald Trump and threatening Muslims with genocide. Donald Trump’s rise to power has been accompanied by a rise in hate crimes against religious and ethnic minorities in the US. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a non-profit organization that fights hate and intolerance in the US, has recorded 700 cases of intimidation and harassment against minorities across America.Muslims in the US have also been targeted in a number of physical attacks. Only last week so-called nationalists assaulted a Moroccan expatriate in New York city, merely because he looked Arab. Now, Islamic Centers and a mosque in California have received photocopies of handwritten letters attacking Muslims and promising ethnic cleansing. The letters were signed, “Americans for Better Way” and were sent to multiple Islamic institutions throughout over the course of a week. They refer to Muslims as “a vile a filthy people” whose “mothers are [expletive] and fathers are dogs” and who “worship the devil.”The hate-filled letters continue to predict that the President-elect will lead a genocide against Muslim Americans, as Hitler once cleansed Germany of the Jews in the 1930’s:“There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America and make it shine again. And he’s going to start with you Muslims,” the letters read. “He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”According to the Huffington Post, the menacing tone and content of the letter urged the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to release a statement calling on the police to increase protection. In the statement CAIR-SFBA Executive Director, Zahra Billoo, stated:“We urge local law enforcement authorities to work with Muslim community leaders to ensure the safety of all houses of worship. Our state’s political and religious leaders need to speak out against the mainstreaming of Islamophobia that we are witnessing in California and nationwide.”The Islamic organization initially abstained from reporting the letter but decided to go public when it became clear that the letters were being sent to other religious centres as well. read more

Companies in this story: (TSX:HBM)The Canadian Press TORONTO — Hudbay Minerals Inc. shares were up nearly six per cent in late-morning trading following its fourth-quarter results and a plan to increase gold production at a Manitoba gold mine.The company, which reports in U.S. dollars, lost US$3.5 million or a penny per share for the quarter ending Dec. 31.That compared with a profit of $94.3 million and 36 cents per share for the same quarter a year earlier.The results came as the company’s production dropped by 14 per cent after it closed its Reed mine in Manitoba and saw lower grades at its Constancia mine in Peru. But, it also released plans to more than double current gold production at its Lalor mine in Manitoba.The company has come under criticism from Waterton Global Resource Management Inc., which owns about 12 per cent of Hudbay and is pushing for leadership changes at the miner.Hudbay CEO Alan Hair told a conference call with financial analysts that the company continues to execute a consistent growth strategy and will respond to the criticism in due time.Shares in the company were up 50 cents at C$8.90 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. read more

Rabat  – Rabat’s Court of First Instance sentenced Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni to one year in prison on Monday, September 30.Moroccan police arrested Raissouni and her fiance on August 31 for “illegal abortion and premarital sexual relations.”The court also sentenced Raissouni’s fiance to one year in prison for participating in “illegal abortion and premarital sexual relations.” The doctor who allegedly conducted the abortion for Raissouni received a sentence of two years in prison. The court announced the verdict nearly one month after the trial was set to begin. The court frequently postponed sessions for more evidence and defense preparation requests.Myriam Moulay Rachid, the lawyer of the convicted doctor, Jamal Belkeziz, presented evidence during the trial’s last hearing on Monday, September 22, that her client did not perform the abortion.She claimed that at the time of examination, a blood test on Raissouni showed a level of 13,585.9 milli-international units per milliliter (mIU-mL) for the “pregnancy hormone” Beta HCG, a level below the threshold of 30,000 mIU-mL that confirms pregnancy. The lawyer argued that the HGG level was “unavoidable proof that acquits all the alleged culprits of abortion in this case.”On September 5, the public prosecutor of the Rabat Court of First Instance issued a statement on Raissouni’s arrest, emphasizing that the journalist was arrested for nothing other than an illegal abortion.He announced that the police arrested Raissouni at the entrance of a building they were monitoring.The prosecutor said that they suspected the clinic of conducting illegal abortion in the building. Raissouni’s case stirred public debate about the lack of individualism.Feminists and activists signed a manifesto, initiated by prominent Moroccans Leila Slimani and Sonia Terrab, to criticize Morocco’s laws criminalizing sexual relations and abortion.International NGOs, such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, also condemned the arrest, calling for the immediate release of Raissouni.The 28-year-old journalist writes for the Arabic-language daily Akhbar Al Yaoum. Moroccan law criminalizes both sex outside marriage and abortion in cases where imminent danger to the mother’s life cannot be proven.It remains to be seen whether Raissouni will appeal the court’s verdict. read more

7 December 2007The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has voiced concern at media reports that Angolan security forces in the northeast of the country have raped, beaten or tortured Congolese migrant workers before deporting them across the border. Praveen Randhawa, a spokesperson for OHCHR, told reporters in Geneva today that High Commissioner Louise Arbour was extremely concerned by the reports and had called on the Angolan Government to investigate and bring any perpetrators to justice.The reports that have emerged this week say that Angolan security forces based in Lunda Norte province, next to the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), have been committing abuses against Congolese migrants, especially women.Large numbers of Congolese have lived and worked for many years in Angola, including in its diamond mines in Lunda Norte. read more

16 March 2008With global glaciers – a vital water source for millions, or even billions, of people worldwide – melting at a record rate, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) urged countries to agree on a new emissions reduction pact. With global glaciers – a vital water source for millions, or even billions, of people worldwide – melting at a record rate, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) urged countries to agree on a new emissions reduction pact.According to the UNEP-backed World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS), data from nearly 30 reference glaciers in nine mountain ranges indicate that between the years 2004-2005 and 2005-2006, the average rate of melting and thinning more than doubled.The centre, based at Switzerland’s University of Zurich, has been tracking glaciers for more than one century, and has noted that while between 1980-1999 average ice loss had been 0.3 meters per year compared to 0.5 meters after the start of the new millennium.“The latest figures are part of what appears to be an accelerating trend with no apparent end in sight,” said Wilfried Haeberli, WGMS Director.On average, one meter water equivalent corresponds to 1.1 metre in ice thickness, which suggests a further shrinking in 2006 of 1.5 actual meters and since 1980 a total reduction in thickness of ice of just over 11.5 meters, or nearly 38 feet. “There are many canaries emerging in the climate change coal mine,” said Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director. “The glaciers are perhaps among those making the most noise and it is absolutely essential that everyone sits up and takes notice.”2009 will be a crucial year, with the “litmus test” coming in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the negotiations process for a successor pact to the Kyoto Protocol is scheduled to conclude, he said. “Here governments must agree on a decisive new emissions reduction and adaptation-focused regime. Otherwise, and like the glaciers, our room for manoeuvre and the opportunity to act may simply melt away.”The WGMS research found that some of the most dramatic glacier shrinking has occurred in Europe with Norway’s Breidalblikkbrea glacier thinning by close to 3.1 meters during 2006 compared with a thinning of 0.3 meter in the previous year.However, some glaciers – such as Echaurren Norte in Chile – posted increases. read more

“Let me highlight the one resource that is scarcest of all: Time,” he told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in a session devoted to redefining sustainable development. “We are running out of time. Time to tackle climate change. Time to ensure sustainable, climate-resilient green growth. Time to generate a clean energy revolution.”Calling sustainable development the growth agenda for the 21st century, Mr. Ban recited a litany of development errors based on a false belief in the infinite abundance of natural resources that fuelled the economy in the last century.“We mined our way to growth,” he said. “We burned our way to prosperity. We believed in consumption without consequences. Those days are gone. In the 21st century, supplies are running short and the global thermostat is running high. “Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete. It has rendered it extremely dangerous. Over time, that model is a recipe for national disaster. It is a global suicide pact.”All this now needs rethinking to secure the balanced development that will lift people out of poverty while protecting the planet and ecosystems that support economic growth, he told the assembly of heads of State and government, international economists, business and industry leaders and civil society.“Here at Davos – this meeting of the mighty and the powerful, represented by some key countries – it may sound strange to speak of revolution,” he said. “But that is what we need at this time. We need a revolution. Revolutionary thinking. Revolutionary action. A free market revolution for global sustainability. “It is easy to mouth the words ‘sustainable development,’ but to make it happen we have to be prepared to make major changes – in our lifestyles, our economic models, our social organization, and our political life. We have to connect the dots between climate change and what I might call here, WEF – water, energy and food.” WEF is also the acronym for the Davos World Economic Forum.“We need you to step up. Spark innovation. Lead by action. Invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy for those who need them most – your future customers. Expand clean energy access in developing countries – your markets of tomorrow.”He called on business leaders present to join the 11-year-old United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate responsibility initiative committing businesses to aligning their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.And he called on governments both in Davos and around the world to send the right signals to build the green economy. “Together, let us tear down the walls,” he declared. “The walls between the development agenda and the climate agenda. Between business, government and civil society. Between global security and global sustainability. It is good business – good politics – and good for society.“In an odd way, what we are really talking about is going back to the future. The ancients saw no division between themselves and the natural world. They understood how to live in harmony with the world around them. It is time to recover that sense of living harmoniously for our economies and our societies.“Not to go back to some imagined past, but to leap confidently into the future with cutting-edge technologies, the best science and entrepreneurship has to offer, to build a safer, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all. There is no time to waste.”At a separate event, Mr. Ban launched a new Global Compact initiative called Global Compact Lead with a group of 54 global companies as founding members, who have committed to be at the cutting edge of environmental, social and governance issues, joining forces to translate sustainable development principles into business operations and deepening partnerships with the entire UN system.“When companies like yours drive sustainability issues deeper into your operations and strategy, year after year, you send a powerful signal. Indeed, you change the world,” he told the business leaders. “In this century far more than the last, we need business to achieve our fundamental purposes at the United Nations. “This is why LEAD and the Blueprint for Corporate Sustainability are so important. By working together at the strategic level as well as in concrete partnerships, we can leverage our respective strengths to address some of the toughest problems of our time.”Speaking at a news conference, Mr. Ban noted that he had dedicated much of his time in Davos to building momentum on efforts to deal with climate change, stressing that agreement among all nations is both necessary and possible. “It may not be easy, but things worth doing seldom are,” he said.UN-sponsored conferences in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Cancún, Mexico, over the past 13 months have narrowed some differences including pledges to help developing countries mitigate the effects of climate change and action to tackle deforestation, which accounts for nearly one-fifth of global warming carbon emissions.But the major components of an accord to cap the increase in the world’s average temperature at two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels still remain to be worked out. 28 January 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for “revolutionary action” to achieve sustainable development, warning that the past century’s heedless consumption of resources is “a global suicide pact” with time running out to ensure an economic model for survival. read more

It was a crowed court room in Welland this afternoon as the mother of a nine-year-old girl at the centre of an amber alert earlier this month made an appearance. 38 year-old Allana Haist was arrested this morning in Hamilton following a plea from her father Sunday night on CHCH. Allana, the mother of 9-year-old Layla Sabry, was released on bail with strict conditions this morning in St.Catharines. It was one of two court hearings for the mother.Haist’s father, Allan, said that their lawyer Natalie Portier had been negotiating with Layla’s father Mohamed Abdel-Motaleb’s family for a deal to bring Haist out of hiding. Haist surrendered her daughter’s passport and birth certificate to police this morning and the deal being negotiated would give Allana more time to deal with the case and Layla’s father, who lives in egypt, would not see his daughter until a court order had been made.Over fifty supporters crammed into a Welland courtroom this afternoon, all wearing purple ribbons in support of Layla and her mother. Haist was arrested this morning on abduction charges after she and her daughter disappeared in the first week of December after Haist failed to appear in court December 2nd. Layla’s father alleges the abduction took place last year in Egypt where all three lived. Haist separated from her husband in 2013 and divorced a year later. Their daughter, Layla, was born in Egypt but has dual citizenship.The little girl had been living and attending school in the Welland area for the last year.Layla is now in the custody of her father’s aunt who lives in the Welland area. Haist is scheduled to appear next month to a Welland courthouse to determine if the courts have jurisdiction in the case because there are on-going custody battles in Egypt where the case began. read more

Seeking to maintain stability in war-torn Bunia, the United Nations Security Council today authorized countries participating in the French-led force currently policing the tense northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to assist UN peacekeepers during the upcoming handover of authority there.Adopting a new resolution, the Council approved recommendations made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan in a recent letter, which urged the 15-nation body to consider such a contingency in case the situation in Bunia became volatile during the transition period between the UN Organization Mission in the DRC (MONUC) and the Interim Emergency Multinational Force (IEMF).The Secretary-General had also noted that preparations for the deployment by MONUC’s brigade-size force in Bunia were well under way, and the deployment of an infantry battalion from Bangladesh was expected to be completed by 15 August. That battalion was to join the Uruguayan battalion already there, and they are to take over from the IEMF on 1 September.The Council authorized the deployment of the IEMF in late May to help stabilize the situation in the resource-rich Ituri province, and particularly in the flashpoint town of Bunia, where ethnic clashes between Lendu and Hema clans had killed more than 400 people. In mid-July, fighting in remote areas of the northeast, particularly in the Kivus, continued, even as the international community was welcoming the installation of a new power-sharing transitional government in the capital Kinshasa.The Council followed that move late last month by approving a one-year extension of MONUC’s mandate, as well as increasing its military strength to 10,800 troops up from 8,700, and instituting an arms embargo against all foreign and Congolese armed groups in the east of the country.Today, the Council reiterated its deep concern for the continuation of hostilities in the region – in Ituri as well as the provinces of North and South Kivu – and stressed the need to ensure the best conditions for the transfer of authority from the IEMF to MONUC to contribute in the most efficient way to the continuing stabilization of the region. read more

“Our world is changing at a dramatic pace. We must change with it if we are to succeed in our solemn mission to promote and protect all human rights for all,” said High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour in an opening statement at yesterday’s consultations, during which she indicated that she intended to put forward for discussion her options for the reform of the system at an intergovernmental meeting in 2006. The High Commissioner drew attention to the Secretary-General’s proposal to replace the Commission with a high-ranking Human Rights Council elected by the General Assembly. In his paper, the Secretary-General proposed that the Council, based in Geneva, would oversee the compliance of Member States with their human rights obligations through fair, transparent and non-selective procedures.Ms. Arbour also outlined a plan of action drawn up by her office to address current human rights challenges, which called for, among other measures, a more unified system of enforcement bodies for human-rights treaties.Over 50 delegations, including a dozen non-governmental organizations (NGOs), took part in today’s informal consultations. All delegations agreed that the work of the Commission had become politicized, applying criteria selectively, and that reform was therefore necessary.The idea of turning the Commission into a standing Human Rights Council was supported by the great majority of speakers. Some, however, said that the current system must first overcome the problems of selectivity and politicization that had been identified. A new body was not necessarily required for that purpose, they said. read more

DARTcritics started as a class blog but has grown to fill the void of local arts criticism. They call themselves critics with class.But more than being clever, the student writers behind the DARTcritics website are providing theatrephiles with thoughtful, arts criticism about performances in Niagara and beyond.That wasn’t always its purpose, however. The two-year-old theatre review website, which was recently relaunched with a new look, started as a forum for Dramatic Arts Prof. Karen Fricker to post standout assignments by students in her theatre criticism class. But it soon became apparent the site served a larger purpose.DARTcritics picked up where slashed and shrunken newsrooms left off with their arts coverage. Other than a handful of metro and national dailies, few newsrooms boast a dedicated arts and entertainment reporter anymore, leaving a void to be filled.“What we discovered was that in some instances, the reviews that we published were among the only, if not the only, review response that productions would receive, because there is so little arts criticism in Niagara,” Fricker said. “This was a startling and empowering realization for the students — that they were in dialogue with art and artists in a privileged way.”Of course, seeing their names in print was nothing short of thrilling, too. Hayley Malouin was hooked the moment she got her first byline for her review of London Road, a musical about an English town coping with the murders of five of its women.“I thought ‘OK, we’ll see some shows,’” said Malouin, who signed up for Fricker’s class in her third year. “I wrote the first review and got it up on the blog and was ‘This is like crack.’”Being published was an incentive, but writing reviews for posting was ultimately a way for Malouin to use what she had learned from Fricker about articulating her opinions of a production beyond saying whether or not she like it.“I hated (London Road) and finding out why I hated it was so fun,” she explained. “It really changed my view of what happens in theatre. There’s this critical side to it – this analytical side to it…. I think you can be analytical and creative and that’s a really special thing.”Fricker, a former critic with The Guardian in the U.K., capitalized on the opportunity to turn DARTCritics into a bona fide source of arts criticism last April when Malouin and fellow student Nick Leno landed funding from BUSU to cover St. Catharines’ In the Soil Arts Festival.She also coached the duo to be editors and social media curators. This summer, they’re running the site like a newsroom with two staff writers, fourth-year DART students Elizabeth Amos and Alex Jackson. Together, they cover theatre in Hamilton, Niagara, Toronto and Stratford, thanks to support from the Match of Minds program run by the Office of Research Services and BUSU.The relaunch of the DARTcritics site coincides with this summer’s move of Dramatic Arts to the new home of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines, Fricker noted.“It’s such an exciting moment for the arts at Brock and in St. Catharines more broadly, with the new First Ontario Performing Arts Centre opening in the autumn, as well as our own building,” she said. “This seemed the perfect occasion for us to take DARTcritics to a new level with a new look, and more reviews.”Fricker will resume the editor’s post when classes resume in the fall, but for summer, the site is “Nick and Hayley’s baby.”“It’s a great experience of entrepreneurialism and leadership for them.”It has also carved out a potential career path for Malouin. Theatre criticism has become something she would like to pursue further, either as a freelance writer or by developing her own theatre review site.Still, there has been one downside to being a DARTcritic: it’s tough to shut off and watch a show for pleasure.“I see theatre and can’t not be critical now,” Malouin said. “People see that as a negative but it’s not. I’m always on now when I see a show. I do wish I could go see a Mirvish show and say ‘That’s great!’”Visit DARTcritics read more

NEW ORLEANS — Julius Randle had 27 points and 18 rebounds and the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Dallas Mavericks 132-106 on Wednesday night.Anthony Davis had 27 points, a career-high nine assists and five blocks despite twisting his ankle and briefly leaving the court for treatment after stepping on Dorian Finney-Smith’s foot.Jrue Holiday had 17 points and four steals for New Orleans, which largely controlled the contest while winning for just the third time in nine games.Harrison Barnes had 16 points and Wesley Matthews 15 for the Mavericks, who came in having won five of six but had trouble with the Pelicans’ up-tempo pace while playing one night after beating Portland at home.J.J. Barea scored 14 points, and Dwight Powell added 12 points and 10 rebounds for Dallas, which also was short-handed as usual starting guard Dennis Smith Jr. sat out with a sprained right wrist.E’Twaun Moore scored 17 points in a reserve role, and New Orleans never trailed after his 20-foot jumper put the Pelicans up 32-31 at the end of the first quarter.Running the floor relentlessly, and effectively after many of the Mavs’ 18 turnovers, the Pelicans scored 60 points in the paint and 29 on fast breaks.New Orleans led by 16 at halftime, by as many as 25 in the third quarter and 29 in the fourth.TIP-INSMavericks: As Powell dunked early in the fourth quarter, he was poked in eye by Davis. Dallas coach Rick Carlisle received a technical foul for shouting at officials about the play and Holiday made the technical foul shot. … Finney-Smith had 12 points and Jalen Brunson had 11 points. … The Mavs shot 42.9 per cent (39-of-91) and missed 32 of 46 3-point attempts.Pelicans: F Nikola Mirotic, New Orleans’ third-leading scorer, missed his second straight game with an illness. Randle started in his place. … The Pelicans shot 55.4 per cent (51-of-92) overall and an even better 58.6 per cent (17-of-29) from 3-point range. … Darius Miller made four of his six 3-point shots for all of his 12 points off the bench while Moore made three of four. Davis made both of his shots from deep and Randle made two of three. … Holiday, who has struggled with turnovers at times, finished with eight assists and only one turnover.UP NEXTMavericks: Host Houston on Saturday night.Pelicans: Host Memphis on Friday night.___For more AP NBA: and Martel, The Associated Press read more

Ottis Gibson is to remain with the England squad throughout the Test series against West Indies.While Gibson, the England bowling coach, is expected to be unveiled as South Africa’s new head coach within days – possibly by the end of this week – he will not start his new role until after the end of the third Test, which starts on September 7.Although Gibson is contracted to the ECB until the end of the 2018 season, it is understood that the ECB and CSA have now agreed a compensation package which allows him to leave early.Gisbon and CSA are still negotiating his own contract details, though it is not anticipated that there will any change of heart from either party at this stage.With Gibson expected to have left the ECB ahead of the limited-overs matches against West Indies – there are five ODIs and a T20I scheduled before the end of September – England may need to appoint an interim bowling coach.In the longer-term, the likes of Richard Johnson (currently with Middlesex) and Graeme Welch (currently with Leicestershire) are front-runners for the role. ESPNcricinfo revealed last week that Darren Gough, who recently worked with England Under-19s, could gain some sort of consultancy role working with the white-ball teams. (ESPNCricinfo) Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedGibson set to be named as South Africa coachAugust 11, 2017In “latest news”Ottis Gibson confirmed as South Africa’s head coachAugust 30, 2017In “latest news”Gibson sacked as West Indies Coach with immediate effectAugust 19, 2014In “Sports” read more

first_imgFOUR INDEPENDENT TDs have criticised two reports into the cancellation of penalty points which found no evidence of widespread corruption or deception in the writing-off of fixed charge notices.Mick Wallace, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Clare Daly and Joan Collins said at a press conference today that the structure and approach of the investigations carried out by assistant garda commissioner John O’Mahoney and the Garda Professsional Standards Unit (GPSU)  ”seriously damages” the credibility of the reports and their conclusions.The TDs said it was clear that the whole policy and practice of gardaí in relation to fixed charge notice cancellations “is by their own admission and according to their own internal review and the GPSU report non-complaint, dysfunctional and flawed at every possible level.”The internal garda report published earlier this month examined the practice of some gardaí quashing penalty points but found that anonymous allegations made about inappropriate writing-off of Fixed Charge notices “cannot be substantiated to any degree”.It identified three possible departures from administrative procedural guidelines in respect of terminations conducted by three officers. They were among 113 terminating offices who were included in the investigation but there was “no evidence to suggest any act of criminality, corruption, deception or falsification”. Read: the four TDs’ analysis of the Garda inquiry (PDF) > At a press conference today the independent TDs pointed out that no criminality had ever been alleged and said there was discrepancies in Minister for Justice Alan Shatter’s account of when he learned of the allegations about cancellation of penalty point made by two garda whistleblowers.“This investigation failed to adhere to the two basic standards of natural and constitutional justice,” the TDs said in a statement.They said the two reports had shown that there was no formal system for the exercise of garda discretion in cancelling fixed charge notices.They also said that the Garda Commissioner and the Minister had failed to protect the two whistleblowing gardaí who first highlighted the issue. Wallace pointed out that the whistleblowers were not interviewed during the investigation.“The report leaves a lot to be desired. There is things in the report which point out a lot of what has been going on and their [the Garda Commissioner and the Minister for Justice] summaries appear to ignore a lot of it,” Wallace said.Flanagan said the whistleblowers should be treated like “national heroes” but had instead been ignored. Collins said that the whole controversy had highlighted inequality in the cancellation of penalty points.The TDs said they would be making a submission to the Oireachtas Justice Committee – though Wallace said the government majority meant there is an “element of bias” in that committee – and planned legislation to address the structure of policing in Ireland and the “unhealthy and incestuous” relationship between gardaí and the government.In full: the four TDs’ analysis of the Garda inquiry (PDF) >Watch: Mick Wallace says he was the victim of an unlawful arrestRead: Gardaí should be able to quash penalty points for ‘humanitarian reasons’last_img read more

first_imgSpace is, in some ways, a fairly forgiving place to work. Sure, there are sudden and unpredictable blasts of radiation, belts of high-energy particles, and the ever-present danger of meteorites, but the advantages are just as strong. There is (functionally) no gravity in orbit, so you can make odd or flimsy designs, no air or weather to batter and corrode materials, no insects or birds to muck up the machinery. In some ways, working in space is a designer’s dream, allowing virtually any shape to be practical.However, we don’t live in space, and anything we want to put up there has to first exist in space. That poses a number of problems, foremost of which involves the sheer size of many of our would-be space inventions. The space shuttle has (had) a big enough cargo area for some fairly large pieces of equipment, but the truly revolutionary stuff had to fold up, or be shipped in pieces and assembled in space. This introduces confounding challenges for designers and engineers who maddeningly have to accommodate an environment in which their creations will never actually operate. But what if we could build those things in space to begin with?That’s what SpiderFab from Tethers Unlimited aims to do. For more than a year, NASA has been collaborating with Tethers to create the space-fabrication system, and has just extended the contract by a further $500,000. The multi-armed space robot would 3D print the scaffolds and walls of large structures, so only the complex functional units need to be sent up after fabrication on Earth. The prime example is a the huge backbone of a major solar array — SpiderFab is projected to be able to make structures more than a half a mile wide.There are currently few details on exactly how SpiderFab will work. Specifically, how the basic idea of 3D printing will have to change to accommodate both the vacuum of space and NASA’s rigorous equipment requirements. Finding a printable material that will fuse quickly and with high strength without an atmosphere to act as a heat sink will be difficult — there are currently no projections for just how long it might take SpiderFab to complete a large-scale project.Still, these sorts of cost-cutting measures are absolutely essential. Perhaps the most famous is the space elevator, which would negate the need for expensive rocket fuel when putting things into orbit. Until such time as we can just build a dedicated power plant or two for slow ascents into space, though, SpiderFab might be the best option available.last_img read more

first_img Samsung’s 108MP Camera Sensor Is Coming to a Smartphone Near YouHuge Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Doesn’t Have Room For Headphone Jack Stay on target It was fascinating to see the fall of the Samsung Galaxy Fold play out in real-time. I think most people were pretty skeptical as to how useful a folding phone would actually be. But all of the demos of seamlessly turning the Galaxy Fold into a phone, a tablet, and then back again were pretty slick for tech enthusiasts. Good idea or not, it looked like it at least worked.And the idea might still work. But it’s pretty obvious now that at least this initial wave of Samsung Galaxy Fold devices don’t work. So color us shocked that Samsung has now decided to delay the phone.The trouble all started when the Galaxy Fold left the tightly controlled stage demos and wound up in the hands of real-world tech reviewers. Within literal hours people whose job it is to review phones were accidentally breaking this device. They peeled off screen covers that looked optional but super weren’t. They saw debris get stuck inside the hinge that sliced the larger foldable screen down the middle. They refused to write reviews of essentially a beta product.When a tech reviewer accidentally breaks a phone, they can typically return it to the vendor for a new one. But the process wouldn’t be so cordial if all of a sudden huge amounts of people started breaking their $2,000 fancy new phones after a single session with it. They’d rather the battery explode!So while the Samsung Galaxy Fold was initially slated to launch April 26, Samsung cancelled launch events in Hong Kong and Shanghai before announcing a vague new “one month” release window. Samsung also said this delay will allow for a “thorough inspection” of the issues writers have uncovered. But if we’re being pessimistic this is probably just enough time for them to print bigger stickers saying “DO NOT REMOVE THE SCREEN COVER” while failing to address any fundamental issues of the hardware.So if you were jazzed for the Samsung Galaxy Fold this is actually good news for you. Yeah you have to wait longer but you’ll be rewarded with (in theory) a more durable phone as well as all this new knowledge of what not to do with it when you get it. In the meantime though we still suggest checking out some other Android phones.last_img read more

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Franklin Joseph D’Entremont, fondly known as “Frank” to his family and friends, age 83, of Wilmington, passed away peacefully on June 23, 2018; following a courageous battle with Parkinson’s disease.Frank was born in Boston, MA on May 28, 1935; he was the dear only son of David and Gertrude D’Entremont. Frank was raised in Roxbury and was a graduate of Charlestown High School with the Class of 1953.Frank married “the love of his life” Claire Murphy in 1957; he was drafted into the United States Army shortly after in January of 1958. Frank served overseas in Germany and his duties included being a radio operator and sending and receiving Morse Code. Following two years of active duty, Frank, was transferred to the Army Reserves in January of 1960 and returned home to his bride.In 1965, Frank and Claire moved to “the country” namely Wilmington, MA, which was a culture shock for a couple from the city but they loved their new home and community. Frank and Claire raised three wonderful children; Diane, David and Cathy. Frank loved being a “dad” and in later years he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.Frank worked hard to provide for his family; he took a job at General Electric in Lynn, MA and work his way up to the position of Manufacturing Engineer. Frank was a very loyal and dedicated employee who had a great work ethic; these were all attributes that made him quite successful. Frank retired following more than 34 years with the company.Frank enjoyed camping with his wife, family and friends; following his retirement they bought an RV and took the “trip of a life-time” cross country. Frank loved being a “snow bird” in the winter months; they would head south and get away from the harsh New England winters.Frank was a talented photographer who loved to take pictures every where he went. He also enjoyed the time he spent as a ham radio operator which he learned during his time in the Army. Frank was also known to enjoy watching all New England sports especially the Red Sox.Frank will be fondly remembered as a “quiet guy” who would do anything for anyone. He loved his family and friends with all his heart and he will be missed.Frank was the beloved husband of 60 years to the late Claire C. (Murphy) D’Entremont, devoted father of Diane M. Stein & husband Andrew of York, ME, David F. D’Entremont & wife Sheryl of Londonderry, NH and Catherine M. Walsh & husband Jeffrey of Wilmington. Loving Grandfather of Lauren & Michael Stein, Cynthia & husband Eddie Dixon, Jessica D’Entremont and Jared & Cole Walsh. Cherished son of the late David and Gertrude D’Entremont, dear brother of Geraldine Fitzpatrick of Norwood.Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, June 28th at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St. (Rte. 38), Wilmington at 10:00 a.m. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington. Visiting Hours will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday, June 27th from 4:00-8:00 p.m.In lieu of flowers donations in Frank’s memory may be made to The Jimmy Fund, 10 Brookline Place West, 6th Floor, Brookline, MA 02445-7226.Franklin Joseph D’Entremont(NOTE: The above obituary is from Nichols Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Francis J. Zizis, 94In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Paul L. D’Eon, 83In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Frank E. Darling, Jr., 85In “Obituaries”last_img read more

first_imgNicole Winfield News • Photos of the Week Nicole Winfield,Add Comment Click here to post a comment Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis said in a document released Tuesday (April 2) that women have “legitimate claims” to seek more equality in the Catholic Church, but he stopped short of endorsing recent calls from his own bishops to give women leadership roles.In the text, Francis also told young adults they should try to help priests at risk for sexually abusing minors in what a Vatican official said was a great act of trust the pope has for today’s youth to help “priests in difficulty.”Francis issued the document, known as an apostolic exhortation, in response to an October 2018 meeting of the world’s bishops on better ministering to today’s young Catholics.The synod took place against the church’s clergy sex abuse crisis and included demands for greater women’s rights. The bishops’ final recommendations called the need for women to hold positions of responsibility and decision-making in the church “a duty of justice.”In the new document reflecting at length on the October meeting, Francis did not echo that sweeping conclusion. Instead, he wrote that a church that listens to young people must be attentive to women’s “legitimate claims” for equality and justice, as well as better train both men and women with leadership potential.“A living church can look back on history and acknowledge a fair share of male authoritarianism, domination, various forms of enslavement, abuse and sexist violence,” Francis said.He continued: “With this outlook, she can support the call to respect women’s rights, and offer convinced support for greater reciprocity between males and females, while not agreeing with everything some feminist groups propose.”An organizer of last year’s synod, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, was asked at a news conference Tuesday about Francis’ lack of reference to women in leadership positions and the need to welcome gay Catholics. Baldisseri replied that Francis couldn’t rewrite everything from the final synod recommendations.Francis’ new document, a 299-paragraph booklet titled “Christ Is Alive,” covers a wide range of issues confronting young people today. In it, he notes that many feel alienated from the church because of its sexual and financial scandals and are suffering themselves from untold forms of exploitation, conflict and despair.A hefty chunk of the document focuses on both the promises and perils of the digital world and dedicates ample space to the plight of migrants. It uses millennial lingo, calling the Virgin Mary an “influencer” and describing relations with God in computing terms: “hard disk,” ”archive” and “deleting.”Francis wrote that he was inspired by all the reflections from the bishops’ synod and refers readers to the 2018 recommendations. He said he wanted to use his new text to “summarize those proposals I considered most significant.”Throughout, he urges young people to be protagonists in rejuvenating the church.The pope called for the “eradication” of practices for exercising authority in the church that allowed child sex abuse to take place and a challenge to how church leaders handled cases with “irresponsibility and lack of transparency.”He urged young people to call out a priest who seems at risk of seeking affection from children and youth, “and remind him of his commitment to God and his people.”Asked if that message wasn’t putting young people in potentially dangerous positions, another synod organizer, Monsignor Fabio Fabene, said it was the contrary.The pope’s words showed Francis wanted to entrust youth with “showing closeness to priests experiencing difficulty” in their missions and for young people to help “rejuvenate the heart of a priest who is in difficulty.”Such terms have long been used by church officials to minimize the criminality of priests and bishops who rape and molest children.Asked why there was no reference to Francis’ frequent call for “zero tolerance” for abuse, Baldisseri said the pope doesn’t need to repeat the phrase in every document.“You don’t need to say ‘zero tolerance’ every time you go to lunch and dinner,” he said.The document acknowledges the importance of sexuality in the development of young people. As with the roles of women in the Catholic Church, Francis did not repeat the bishops’ wording in recommendations for deeper anthropological, theological and pastoral study on sexuality and sexual inclinations. The term “homosexuality” appears once in Francis’ text.Women have often complained they have second-class status in the church. History’s first Latin American pope has vowed to change that, but he has done little that is concrete and counts no women among his own advisers.Just last week, the founder of the Vatican’s women’s magazine resigned with members of the editorial board, citing what she said was a climate of distrust and de-legitimization in the Vatican. The editor of the newspaper that distributes the magazine denied efforts to undermine the women.Nine nuns were invited to participate at the October synod on Catholic youth, alongside 267 cardinals, bishops and priests. None of the women had the right to vote on the final recommendations. The nuns publicly made clear their displeasure before, during and after the meeting.The recommendations advocated making women a greater presence in church structures at all levels while respecting church doctrine that the priesthood remains for men only.“The synod recommends that everyone be made aware of the urgency of an inescapable change,” it said.“It’s a duty of justice that finds its inspiration in the way Jesus related to the men and women of his time, as well as the importance of the role of some female figures in the Bible,” the document read. Share This! Photos of the Week August 30, 2019 Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.,Overcoming fears of ‘making noise,’ US Muslims step into civic life Share This! Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email,About the authorView All Posts Catholicism As Amazon burns, Vatican prepares for summit on region’s faith and sustainabilit … August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Emailcenter_img Instagram apostasy stirs controversy over Christian ‘influencers’ August 30, 2019 Facebook Twitter Pinterest LinkedIn ReddIt Email Tagsapostolic exhortation equality homepage featured Pope Francis Synod of the Bishops on Young People Top Story Vatican women’s issues,You may also like News Shattered statues and satanic symbols mark rise in attacks on French church By: Nicole Winfield By: Nicole Winfield Share This! Share This! Share This! By: Nicole Winfieldlast_img read more

first_img Robot’s sticky feet could aid space missions (w/ Video) The Smart Stick bends similar to the way that spider legs bend. A pressurized fluid runs through the actuator tube (green), causing the elliptical mini-tube to swell and the joints to bend. The fluid can be controlled to cause the Smart Stick to bend in different shapes. Image credit: Carlo Menon and Cristian Lira. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “Space applications require structures, mechanisms and systems that are able to fulfill challenging tasks, while keeping their volumes and masses to a minimum,” wrote the scientists, emphasizing the importance of gossamer structures in the space field. “By folding and deforming the mini-tube, mechanical connectors are avoided, making the system simple, reliable and light.”Besides consisting of light materials, inflatable mechanisms must also confront high-energy particles, charged particles, and solar and space radiation when traveling beyond earth. In this premier run, Menon and Lira developed Smart Stick for Earth conditions, and predict that Smart Stick’s future will depend on using more flexible materials and incorporating a closed fluid loop in the system. A closed loop would increase the hydraulic pressure as well as overcome challenges such as leakage and outgassing required for space travel. “Lightweight joints could potentially be integrated in several space mechanisms,” Menon said. “For example, they could be implemented in miniaturized robotic systems of sample distributed units, in miniaturized grippers, or embedded in foldable/deployable systems.”Even if it takes a bit more time for Smart Stick to encounter space, the scientists already have ideas for terrestrial uses for the fluid actuator component of Smart Stick. Lira is also investigating a wearable, elastic textile called “variable structure fabric” that comfortably improves people’s posture, which is especially useful when working conditions call for long periods of standing or sitting.”The actuators in ‘Variable Structure Fabric (VSF)’ involve a new conceptual design of miniaturized fluidic actuators, which are then inserted in cloth items,” explains Lira’s Web page ( “Uses for it [include] upholstery, technical clothing, underwear, and vehicle interior linings (based on Smart Stick).”Citation: Menon, C. and Lira C. “Active articulation for future space applications inspired by the hydraulic system of spiders.” Bioinspiration and Biomimetics. 1 (2006) 52-61.By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Citation: Future space devices inspired by spider legs (2006, September 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Are spiders ideal space travelers? Not quite, but according to a new study, their legs may be. Scientists Carlo Menon and Cristian Lira have designed and built lightweight, bendable joints based on the micro-hydraulic joint system of spider legs. The duo’s inflatable “Smart Stick” must overcome many of the harsh conditions of space, such as temperature range, pressure and atmospheric composition. In a recent issue of Bioinspiration and Biomimetics, Menon and Lira explain how most animals use muscles to bend their joints, but spiders don’t possess such extensors. Instead, these boneless arachnids have legs that are attached to the prosoma, or the main body, which pumps out fluid into the legs by contracting and expanding. Although spiders don’t have veins or even true blood, a pressurized liquid called haemolymph fills the open spaces throughout a spider’s body.”Our research approach is to find inspiration from nature to conceive new space engineering systems,” Menon told “We realized that the characteristics of spiders’ hydraulic systems fit the need of great miniaturization and high force/mass ration required by space actuators.” The scientists’ Smart Stick, at 1 mm in diameter, is only slightly larger than a real spider’s leg. With one joint, the stick can bend about 1.8 degrees, and the scientists have developed a simple, modular system that enables the connection of several elastic joints for further bending. Each module consists of an inflatable elastic actuator that separates different segments, and a tube runs between each joint. To bend the Smart Stick, water in the tube is pressurized, causing the elastic actuators to fill with water and push the segments apart (see figure). Sensors measure the pressure and then provide feedback to the control unit, where more or less water is pressurized. Like other spiders, this Mexican Redknee (Brachypelma Smithii) tarantula bends its legs not with muscles and bones but with a pressurized fluid system that extends and contracts the joints. Scientists have created devices for space robots and even clothing based on the spider mechanism. Photo credit: Jurgen E. Haug.last_img read more